Vice President of Trainco Truck Driving School, Mike Moscinski, recently weighed in on the topic of how to deal with road rage on episode 13 of Big Rig Banter, hosted by Troy Diffendorfer and Connor Smith of AllTruckJobs.com.
Before Mike discussed dealing with road rage, he talked about some of the primary causes first.
Trucker Perspective: Top 3 Causes of Road Rage
- Getting cut off – Truck drivers get cut off in a variety of circumstances. As a society, we are all in a hurry to get to the destination. What many motorists — “four-wheelers” — do not consider is the speed in which the truck is going, or how much larger/heavier the trucks can be. Being cut off is one of our bigger agitators because it’s not only rude, but it’s also dangerous. Our trucks cannot brake as fast as conventional vehicles due to our size and speed.
- Automobile drivers hanging out in our blind spots – It is difficult for us to see and keep track of vehicles that tailgate too closely or ride in the blind area.
- Soft or indecisive merging – Being hesitant or indecisive can cause traffic jams, frustrations for all drivers and could potentially cause accidents.
How to Deal With Road Rage and Respond to Aggressive Drivers
It is easy to cave into our initial response when a driver “does us wrong.” We want to express our frustration by blowing the horn, speeding up, slowing down, etc. As professionals, we need to be very passive about it and expect the behavior.
Laying on the air horn intimidates, scares and angers the driver — which just escalates the situation. As the truck driver, anticipate and expect the behavior to happen and simply go on about your way. Do not get worked up about it. Truck drivers have a voice and it’s important to calmly educate family and friends on the proper ways to handle road rage incidents.
At Trainco, we conduct 40 hours of classroom curriculum that covers a wide range of topics, and how to deal with road rage is one of them. We explore the topic in detail. We discuss different ways to handle it. One thing we explore is to put yourself in the other person’s position. Think of the other side of the scenario, empathize with the other driver. Do what you can to prevent a situation from escalating.
Distracted Commuting and Advice for Pedestrians
We’re asked often to provide advice to pedestrians from the trucker’s perspective. Distracted driving and commuting (whether on foot or bicycle) can cause lots of issues. Distractions we most commonly see include walking around preoccupied with their mobile device or using headphones. Big trucks do not stop like a car, so pedestrians need to allow for more space. We don’t stop as much, we take wide turns and we don’t take off as fast as a car, so you have to be patient with us and we’ll try to be patient as well.